GLEN ELLYN – Quinn Snarskis was placed into a tough spot Saturday, but the Fenwick pitcher delivered to guide the Friars to the first sectional title in program history.
After starter Jimmy Madormo walked three batters leading to two runs in the first inning, he was pulled for Snarskis. Snarskis allowed just one hit in relief and the Fenwick bats did enough to beat Montini 6-2 at Glenbard South.
The Friars (25-10) advanced to Monday's supersectional at North Central College against Grayslake Central.
"We've had so many games where we came up just short and I thought as a team we just didn't want that to happen today," Snarskis said. "It didn't really matter whatever the score was. I know this team will fight so as long as we can stay in as a team we'll be fine. We made the plays with no errors."
Fenwick tied the game in the top of the third when Justin Rodriguez scored Gino Cavalieri with an RBI groundout and Kristian Meyer scored on a wild pitch. In the fourth Michael Krecek drove in Mike Neill with a double to give the Friars a 3-2 lead.
The Friars tacked on three insurance runs in the top of the seventh, but with the way Snarskis was pitching they didn't need them. Both pitchers threw from low arm angles, Madormo as a true sidearmer and Snarskis going between a three-quarters and lower release.
"My chemistry with my pitchers is real tight," said Wood Dale resident Rodriguez, the team's catcher. "Madormo with his low arm slot is very tough to read, but you get used to it once in a while. His ball is a little slower than Quinn's, but once you see Quinn's two-seamer come in, it's a very nice pitch. Teams have a tough time hitting the ball against those two pitchers."
Montini (23-10) had RBIs from Jake Mencacci and starting pitcher Eric Frontzak. Sean Frontzak, who also pitched in relief in Thursday's sectional semifinal, came on in relief in the fourth and shut the Friars down until the seventh.
"It's tough on the kids," said Montini coach Bob Landi, who is retiring as athletic director and baseball coach. "They came out here today and were ready to play. We had a nice BP back at school. They were in a good frame of mind. They were loose. We just got beat today. It's not like we beat ourselves or we blew anything. They played better than we did today and they beat us."
Fenwick coach David Hogan has been in charge of the program for more than 30 years and finally has a sectional title.
"We've been to a sectional final before, but we've never won one," Hogan said. "It's nice to have a first-time plaque."